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Ann is also author of The Runaway Sisters and The Orphan House, published by Bookouture. The idea for that book came from researching her great-grandfather, Brice Bennett, who was headmaster of a county school for pauper children in Wargrave, Berkshire.
The Lake Pavilion, set in British India in the 1930s and wartime England, will be published in April 2021.
Ann is married with three grown up sons and works as a lawyer. For more details please visit www.bambooheart.co.uk
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From award-winning author Ann Bennett, comes a heart-breaking story of love and loss set in World War 2 Burma.
In 1980, Edith Mayhew, proprietor of the Tea Planter’s Club in Calcutta, is preparing to sell up after years of decline. She thinks back to 1942 when her sister Betty vanished having fled over the mountains from Burma to Assam to escape the Japanese invasion. Whilst packing, Edith comes across some letters which may hold clues to Betty’s mysterious disappearance.
The discovery propels Edith on an epic journey to Assam, where she is forced to face devastating secrets of love and betrayal from the war years.
Praise for Ann Bennett
'A vivid account of a brutal period, and a searing exploration of trauma, memory and loss..' The Lady Magazine.
‘Have just discovered this writer … So descriptive of the Far East. Harrowing in parts but unputdownable! Best author I have read in a very long time.’ Amazon Reviewer.
‘This was a story of love, passion and cruelty I could not put down ….’ Lizeanne Lloyd - Lost in a Good Book
I raced through this book in just over twenty-four hours … I literally could not put it down.’ Bibliobeth – Goodreads.
‘I really loved this haunting, powerful and beautiful novel.’ Amazon Reviewer.
From award-winning author Ann Bennett comes a captivating WW2 novel of love and survival - a daughter’s journey of discovery and a soldier’s strength in the bleakest of times.
When Laura Ellis, a successful city lawyer, arrives home to see her dying father Tom, a mysterious stranger is watching the house. This leads her to embark on a journey to discover their connection.
To do so, she has to retrace her father’s steps; to the Bridge on the River Kwai: where as a prisoner of war of the Japanese, Tom endured disease, torture and endless days of slavery; and to the beautiful island of Penang, to uncover his secrets from the 1930s.
For Tom made himself a promise: to return home. Not to the grey streets of London, where he once lived, but to Penang, where he found paradise and love.
As Laura searches for the truths Tom refused to tell her, in the places where he once suffered, lived and loved, she will finally find out the story behind his survival, and discover her own path to love and happiness..
A Daughter's Quest was previously published as Bamboo Heart. It won the won the award for fiction published in Asia, Asian Books Blog, 2015.
Praise for A Daughter’s Quest.
'A powerful story brilliantly told. Five Stars.' Richard Kandler, author of The Prisoner List.
'This outstanding novel is a powerful reminder of what prisoners of the Japanese suffered...' Amazon reviewer.
1934, Weirfield-on-Thames. Connie Burroughs loves living in the orphanage that her father runs. Exploring its nooks and crannies with her sister, hearing the pounding of a hundred pairs of feet on the wooden stairs, having a father who is doing so much good. But everything changes the day she sees him carrying a newborn baby that he says he found near the broken front gate. A baby she recognises…
Present day. Arriving at her father’s beloved cottage beside the river, Sarah Jennings is hoping for peace and quiet, to escape her difficult divorce. But when she finds her father unwell and hunched over boxes of files on the orphanage where he was abandoned as a child, she decides to investigate it herself.
The only person left alive who lived at Cedar Hall is Connie Burroughs, but Connie sits quietly in her nursing home for a reason. The sewing box under Connie’s bed hides secrets that will change Sarah’s life forever, uncovering a connection between them that has darker consequences than she could ever imagine.
A heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting tale inspired by the lives of the children who lived at the author’s great-grandfather’s orphanage. Fans of Before We Were Yours, The Orphan’s Tale and The Orphan Train will be hooked.
What readers are saying about The Orphan House:
‘Oh my goodness. What an amazing story of life, love, loss and finding yourself… Awe inspiring. I honestly am left reeling. This is my first book from this author, although it definitely will not be my last. Thank you for a journey that I will not soon forget.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘An amazing and spellbinding read. Exceptionally well done. I hated when it ended.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Wonderful storytelling! I have just finished reading this book and I’m bereft! I was able, for a few days, to lose myself completely in the story… I highly recommend this book to anyone.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘What an amazing read!!! I didn't expect this to be a rollercoaster of emotions, suspense, and mystery but it was everything!!... I recommend this book so much!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘This book gave me all the feelings at once… Keeps you hooked through the whole book.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘If there were ever to be a perfect bookclub book, it would be The Orphan House… Beautifully portrayed characters, who were so vivid… Almost felt like watching it on the big screen, every place, person, and circumstance came to live and felt almost tangible… Will surely touch your soul.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘True to life and totally believable. The plot was intriguing, and the delivery was perfect.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘I was hooked only a few pages in to the story… I cannot say enough about this book and I hope you will love it too.
The story of two sisters fighting to survive in the darkest days of World War Two. A heartbreaking tale of resilience and bravery, about having the courage to sacrifice yourself in order to save the ones you love…
Devon, present day: Helen Cavendish’s relationship with her mother has always been strained. Her mother is quiet and stoic, with no other family to speak of, but as Helen goes through her mother’s possessions, packing her up to move her to a care home, she finds photographs of two little evacuee girls that will change everything she thought she knew…
1940: When fifteen-year-old Daisy is evacuated from her home in London, she knows she must look after her younger sister Peggy. She is the only one who can reassure Peggy that life will go back to normal, holding her close and reading to her from their one battered children’s book.
But when the sisters are taken into the countryside, Daisy quickly realises that not everyone at home is on the right side of the war. Forced to work in fields alongside orphan children, she finds herself drawn to a young boy called John, who has tried and failed to escape many times before. He protects the other children, and his bravery inspires Daisy.
Then Peggy gets sick and Daisy knows that, to save her life, they must run away. As the sounds of German engines grow louder above her, Daisy is faced with an impossible choice: escape with just her sister, or risk her life to save others? It’s a choice that is destined to affect her family for generations…
Perfect for fans of Lisa Wingate, Diney Costeloe and Shirley Dickson, The Runaway Sisters is a tale of heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage. It’s a story about family, and the light that can be found in the dark clouds of war.
What readers are saying about The Runaway Sisters:
‘Oh my word this book was totally brilliant. Right from the first chapter I was drawn into this story… This was at times an emotional read so keep the tissues handy.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Brought me to tears on several occasions… Grabbed me from the very first chapter, and I was hooked the whole way through the book, captivated by the wartime story… Not just a heartbreaking story but also heart-warming at times. It will definitely pull at your heartstrings and make you reach for your tissues!’ Stardust Book Reviews
‘OMG what can I say brilliant book – very emotional. Total engrossed… Would recommend to everyone.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Totally captivated my interests… Ann brought real life to these characters and made us cry and laugh and love and hurt so now I feel like I truly know them and don't want to just walk away.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘I loved reading this book, it draws you in and pulls at the heartstrings… Brilliant.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘A heartbreaking story of heartache, and the courage to take chances and the determination to right wrongs. Extraordinary.